And here we continue with the list of historical destinations of Cambodia which have the unique architecture that we paused with 2 first names in the PREVIOUS part of this article!
3. Angkor Wat – The culmination of Khmer architecture
Just with 7km from the center of Siem Reap and there, you come to the world’s famous Angkor Wat relic complex. It is one of the most important historical monuments in Cambodia and is considered the culmination of Khmer architecture. Angkor Wat was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1991 and can be compared to the Great Wall, the Egyptian pyramid,…
In ancient times, Angkor Wat was the capital of the Khmer empire. The Angkor complex was built 37 years ago on a surface longer than 1 kilometer in the first half of the 12th century. It is the place where Hindu god –Vishnu – is worshiped. Later, when the Khmer dynasty followed the Buddhism, Angkor Wat became a temple, a sacred shrine. After the capital was destroyed by the Siamese in the war, the kings moved to Phnom Penh in the 15th century, since then, Angkor Wat gradually fell into oblivion and covered with the old forest.
Angkor Wat is the only temple in Cambodia which has the main gate facing to West, the direction of the sunset. The ideal moment for you to take beautiful images of the temple is in the afternoon when the sunshine covering the mossy stones, mossy walls, the ancient traits of the temples.
Strolling through the long corridors, going through every corner of Angkor Wat, and you will be surprised when recognizing the unique architecture here. Because when Angkor Wat was built, the building technique was not as modern as nowadays, but the ancient people created the use of large blue rocks stacked on top of each other, then carved patterns on the stones according to the stories of the Indian legends.
In the main rooms of the temple, there is a very mysterious space, visitors often go there standing slightly against the wall clenched hands and the pat on the gentle lung, then immediately echoing as they are drumming. This room, if viewed from the outside, is designed on the left. On the walls of this room, there are many fairies sculpted, this is also according to an ancient story.
4. Angkor Thom – The longest, oldest stronghold of the Khmer
With just 5-minute driving from the Angkor Wat heritage site, and you’ll approach Angkor Thom, which is populated by 8-meter high beehive walls surrounding an area of temples with 9 kilometers square wide. Angkor Thom was the last and longest capital of the Khmer and was built by King Jayavarman VII at the end of the 12th century.
Angkor Thom has four gates in four directions: East – West – South – North. The faces on the towers which are 23m high carved at the gates and resemble the faces at the Bayon temple, representing the king, the god Lokesvara, the guardian goddesses of the kingdom. Along the sides of Angkor Thom entrance, there are the statues of god Deva lifted Naga snake spirit in the tug of war. This is the image associated with the legend of the Angkor Breastfish.
Inside the city, there is a canal system that runs from the northeast to the southwest. The land enclosed by the wall that used to be the site of the city’s secular buildings, but these buildings no longer exist. Today the area is covered by forest.
5. Bayon – The most impressive mountain temple in Cambodia
The Bayon Temple is located in the heart of the Angkor Thom complex and is the most impressive temple of Cambodian temple architecture, by the majesty of its size and hundreds of beautiful four-faced statues. The temple has 216 statues on top of 54 large and small towers. On each tower, there is a sculpture of the gods’ faces, which symbolize the divine observation of the four directions of Cambodia.
The Bayon was built by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, the only national temple in Angkor built to worship the Buddha. After King Jayavarman’s death, the temple was refurbished very meticulously. Watching Bayon, you will have strange spiritual feelings.